The Last Remnant - first look

According to Yoichi Wada, the president of Square Enix, The Last Remnant is "A Square Enix RPG for the world." It's going to be "the cornerstone of the Square Enix global strategy - a completely new franchise designed to take full advantage of next generation platforms." This is a new RPG for both the 360 and the PS3. Though they didn't say what platform the demo was taking place, it appeared to be 360 - but it was up and running for the demo. And most exciting, though they won't say when it will be released, the game will be released in both the US and Japan at the same time. It blends traditional RPG fighting and exploration with larger battles between armies - and though it looks much like games we've seen before, the developers are promising something new.

After this introduction, the opening of the game began. The young protagonist, Rush, is walking through a forest - with lots of detail on the trees. He notices some flower petals drifting on the wind and finds the flowers. He wonders aloud, "Damn, where is she?" Suddenly, he hears screaming and rushes through the woods to see what it is - turns out, there's a massive battle in a plain below. Two armies are meeting - and he's convinced his sister, Marina, is caught in the middle.

Humans, short lizard-like creatures, and large dinosaurs hauling equipment are marching on what's clearly the "good side." There's also a cat-person, who's clearly one of the most important people in the battle. On the bad side there's your usual smug-looking blonde guy. This one has a magical eyepatch, though. Rush goes charging into the middle of the fight shouting his sister's name - and the cinema ends.

From this point, a demonstration of the game's town and dungeons. Though there's a lot more detail, the game is exceptionally reminiscent of Final Fantasy XII. Really, really reminiscent... but it does look better, as it should, being a next generation game.

Rush tried to talk to shopkeeper but couldn't buy anything - the whole demo is in English, by the way. Using the map screen, Rush moved to the town square. The Valeria Heart is right there, it's a massive sword-like thing thrust into the ground, with crazy scratches all over it and ornate metalworking towards the top. It almost looks like it crash-landed in the ground.

After that, he moved to now moving to Sienbenbur - a cavern. This is our first look the dungeon. Lots of greenery is littered through the cavern. The enemies are visible, much like FFXII, there are monstrous bugs and some sort two-legged werewolf type thing. Very usual RPG stuff. According to Ueda, the game has a "special battle mode - there are no random encounters." The demo was short - and he didn't show us any battles.

Next they moved to Nagapur, one of the main metropolises. A massive Remnant, which looks like a huge and somewhat skeletal dragon, just sticks into the ground behind buildings built up around it. You can see the Remnant from all over town - and also a huge structure, which looks like a massive arch-shaped temple.